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Leading the Way
by Carole J. Freitas
A Proud Record…
1968 — Action Day Nursery began operating as a preschool. The Pruneridge School in Santa Clara was the first Action Day Nursery School to be opened.
1971 — The second preschool, at 3030 Moorpark Avenue, opened its doors. An infant center is also located at the Moorpark School.
1975 — Our third preschool joined the Action Day Nursery group. The Lincoln School is located in a building that’s about fifty-years-old, and was formerly a farmhouse on Lincoln Avenue. We’re very proud of the fact that the Willow Glen Historical Society put a picture of our school in the book Old Willow Glen, which is a guide to historical landmarks in the Willow Glen area.
1976 — The Action Day Academy of Dance originated at our Moorpark School. The dance program now is present at all ten of our locations and 3 studios, and has many dancers tapping, tumbling, and learning ballet each week. The highlight of our dance program is a production each year at the San Jose Center for Performing Arts.
1978 — Action Day Nurseries took over ownership of University Preschool on June 1st, 1978. University Preschool had been in existence in Saratoga for more than 22 years at that time.
1979 — In July of 1979, Primary Plus opened at 3500 Amber Drive. Primary Plus is a preschool and elementary school with students ranging from kindergarten through 4th grade. The school provides an educational setting that is staffed with warm, personally-interested adults who give the students the message that learning is exciting and important. The teachers attempt to establish a learning environment that will allow the children to experience the maximum amount of success possible.
Primary Plus Saratoga campus began offering extended day classes at the former Brookview Elementary School.
1980 — Primary Plus Saratoga campus moved to Quito School on Quito Road and expanded to include both preschool and private kindergarten classes.
1981 — Our family has a new addition: the facility is the first school outside of the immediate area. Located in Mountain View on the edge of a park, infants to children aged four-years-old are in attendance. Mountain View Primary Plus is located in a facility that was formerly Cooper School in the Mountain View Elementary School District. The infant program is housed in two small buildings and the preschool-kindergarten program is housed in a large, center-pod type building.
1984 — In September of 1984, West Valley Middle School welcomed students from fifth to eighth grade. Many of these students have been involved in Action Day Nursery and/or Primary Plus for a number of years. The middle school curriculum focuses on the unique needs of children ten-to-fourteen years of age. The staff has worked carefully to develop a total program that will encourage maximum growth both emotionally and intellectually.
1985 — Primary Plus Saratoga campus moved to El Quito School on Bucknall Road and expanded to include an infant and toddler program, preschool and private classes for children enrolled in kindergarten through third grade.
1989 — In April of 1989, Hansen Children’s Community opened in Saratoga. The school was formerly Hansen Elementary School in the Cupertino School District. The school was closed for ten years and needed to be fully renovated. Hansen served children aged 6-months to twelve-years.
In October of 1989, Primary Plus Phelan opened as another addition to our family. The school is located in the Moreland School District and offers infant care, preschool, and extended-day care.
1990 — In August of 1990, Primary Plus Coventry opened its doors to serve infants, preschool-aged, and kindergarten through third grade children. The school is located on Campbell Avenue and serves the Campbell, San Jose, and Saratoga areas.
1992 — Our numbers in all of the elementary grades grew considerably in the fall of 1992. In response, the Moorpark facility had a new addition! We added 3000 Moorpark, which was built as a farm house in the 1930s. The house, garage, and apartment added enough space for three classrooms and a teachers’ room to the total of Moorpark School.
1993 — Our annual dance production was “The Wizard of Oz,” a tenth-year anniversary show.
1994 — Our Moorpark facility was expanded to provide four classrooms for an additional 75 children in Building “B,” which is dedicated to Frank L. and Anita Callero.
1996 — Our Moorpark facility was expanded one more time to provide four more classrooms to serve an additional 75 children in Building “C,” which we call Friendship Lane. Later the same year, our Moorpark facility was expanded a fourth time to include Building D, which houses private elementary classes on the ground floor and corporate headquarters for Action Day Nurseries, Inc. and Primary Plus, Inc. on the second floor.
West Valley Middle School reopened.
1998 — Primary Plus, Inc. purchased the El Quito School site from the Moreland School District.
Our program at the Phelan School moved into new buildings. The program serves infants, preschoolers, and provides an after-school daycare.
1999 — Two additional classrooms and a new playground were added to our Phelan School site.
2002 — The Lincoln Preschool moved into four big new classrooms that allowed space for an infant center to be added to the Lincoln School.
2003 — West Valley Middle School moved to an expanded facility at the Phelan School site.
2005 — In November of 2005, the Allen School site opened its doors to accept infants, preschoolers, and extended-day children. Allen’s eight acres provide plenty of outdoor space for all ages. Its expected growth for the fall of 2006 would include a Junior Kindergarten.
2006 — We received awards from Bay Area Parent‘s “Family Favorite” for Best Preschool Program, Best Private Elementary School, and Best Dance Program in the South Bay. Carole Freitas authored a book entitled Leading the Way, which outlines the building and history of ADN/PP.
2007 — Two of our schools were selected to be part of the Mayor of San Jose’s “Head Start Schools” program. The Coventry and Moorpark schools received approximately $10,000 as a one-time grant to purchase playground equipment.
2008 — Our enrollment at the Allen School continued to grow, and the classrooms were soon filled with waiting lists. We had the opportunity to purchase three portable buildings and had them assembled and placed on the school site. Kindergarten was also added to the Allen School this year.
In August of 2008, ADN/PP celebrated its 40th birthday. As part of the celebration, a DVD was made that outlines our programs and philosophy. We showed the DVD as part of our annual dance production at the San Jose Center for Performing Arts, as well as at various other events.
The San Francisco Business Times voted us as one of the “100 Best Places to Work in the Bay Area.”
2009 — In December of 2009, we had a huge Christmas tree lighting ceremony at our Moorpark School. We lit a tree that grows on the Moorpark property and is over 200 feet tall. We believe this is the largest, living lit tree in the United States. Over 1,000 people attended the event.
2010 — The Child Care Exchange “Top 50 in the United Started” ranked us 17th in the nation among “for profit” childcare organizations.
The West Valley Dance Company’s “Dance Cats” was created for dancers craving additional performance opportunities and a competitive dancing experience. The team traveled to dance at Disneyland and performed at numerous local holiday events. team based at West Valley Middle School. A small group of the girls even competed for the first time: taking our dance program to an all-new level.
2011 — We had our first “Mommy Mixer” event, which included food, drinks, and other activities from local vendors such as Michi Sushi, the Yard House, Mommy Juice wines, Stella & Dot, and the Blue Jean Bar. Many mommies attended, making this a very fun—and hugely successful—event.
2012 — Due to the success of the previous year, the West Valley Dance Cats divided into two teams: an Upper Team, based at WVMS for dancers in grades 5-8, and a Junior Team, based at Amber Elementary School for dancers in grades 2-4. Both teams competed with a great deal of success, even taking their routines to Las Vegas for a Nationals Competition, and came away with multiple high-point awards, first-place and top-first-place trophies, and special judge’s awards for their “Superb Smiling” and “Visual Poetry.”
2013 — ADPP celebrated its 45th Anniversary by winning a Gold Medal in Bay Area Parent for “Family Favorite.”
Our award-winning dance team, the West Valley Dance Cats celebrated the start of their 4th season by welcoming two new litters: the Dance Kittens (for dancers aged 4-6) and the Tom Cats (an all-boy dance team).
2015 — West Valley Dance Company expanded with the opening of our first stand-alone dance studio on Bascom Ave., and added their high school team, the All Stars.
Primary Plus Elementary School’s growing enrollment called for an expansion, and another portable was added to the site.
2016 — West Valley Dance Company continued to expand, and the second stand-alone dance studio opened in Willow Glen.
2017 — ADPP experienced another big year of growth: Due to popular demand, West Valley Dance Company’s third location was opened in Mountain View.
Lincoln Infant Center expanded, opening 2 new buildings to accept an additional 30 babies.
The Phelan campus expanded with the addition of 2 portable units.
2018 – West Valley Dance Company expands yet again, opening its fourth dance Studio on Bascom Ave. ADPP Celebrates 50 years!
2019 – WVDC opens studios 5 & 6 on Bascom Ave.
2020 – During a year of uncertainty, we pivoted our business model, offering Distance Learning for our academic students and Preschool at Home for our younger students, and Distance Learning Support for those students whose public schools could not open- proving we can meet the needs of our community and our families, no matter the circumstance. WVDC spent a good portion of the year doing all classes via zoom, continuing to foster the students’ love of dance from a distance.
2021 – We added Ballroom Dancing to our Brand with the addition of West Valley Ballroom, as well as our first ever Ballroom Performance Team! Our WVDC program continued to expand as our Bascom Studio opened 2 additional studios and our first ever Acrobatic Studio, featuring the Acrobatic Arts curriculum.
Seeing the need for additional weekly enrichment opportunities, Action Sports Bay Area was created. ASBA offers onsite clinics each week at each of our ADPP locations, as well as Saturday clinics at our Allen and Amber locations.
In 2021, we were recognized yet again as Bay Area Parent’s Gold Family Favorite for Silicon Valley as Best Preschool, Best Elementary School, Best Middle School, & Best Dance Program.